Pet food is not cheap. It can be a large monthly expense, especially if you purchase a prescription or premium food. It is important to store it properly to avoid oxidation. This occurs when your pet’s food is exposed to air and light outside of its original packaging. Even though pet food will usually have a best by date printed on the packaging, just like all the food we consume, this date only applies to the food while it is still sealed in the bag. This date is not accurate once you open the bag and expose it to air, high temperature, and moisture. To protect the nutritional value of the food and your investment, here are a few tips to help maintain your pet’s dry food.
Seal your pet’s food bag: To minimize the growth of bacteria on your pet’s food, roll the sides of your pet’s food bag down and use a chip clip to seal it closed. For the best protection, use an airtight food container.
Consider using an airtight container: The best way to maintain the freshness of your pet’s food is to store it in an airtight sealed container. This will also deter pests and insects from making their way into the food. If you store your pet’s food in the kitchen, it will also reduce the odor of their food so it does not spread to yours kept in the pantry as well.
Keep the container clean: DO NOT DUMP FRESH FOOD ON TOP OF OLD FOOD! This is a common practice for many pet owners, however, this can cause contamination of the new food. When the existing food at the bottom of the container or the greasy oils on the side of the container becomes rancid it can make your pet very sick. Was the empty container with hot soapy water, a thorough rinse, and thoroughly dry the container before refilling to ensure there is no moisture which can produce mildew or mold growth on the food.
Best storage location: The temperature of the storage location is important to maintain the nutritional value and safety of your pet’s food. It is best to store the food where it will not reach temperates in excess of 100°.
It should also be kept in a place where your pet can not get to it and overindulge. This can make your pet very sick or even lead to more serious conditions.
No matter what brand of food or what breed of animal you have, keeping their food safely stored will help to maintain their health. If you need any suggestions for the best food for your pet, or have any other questions that we can help you with, please give your Tysons Corner, VA veterinarian a call at 703-356-5000 or come in for a wellness visit. We are here to help your pet live the best life possible.